“Would you like to brush your teeth this evening?”
“I understand you’re mad, but would you be willing to stop yelling?”
As parents, we’d never say that. We don’t give kids options. We set boundaries and stick to it. That’s what helps kids grow up to be responsible adults that function well in society.
So why do we ask permission for our boundaries?
“Would it be OK if I called you tomorrow instead of this evening?”
“Would it be possible for you to find someone else to do that?”
Most people want what they want, and when given the option, they’ll say, “I want to talk to you right now,” or “I really need you to help me out.”
It’s not necessarily that they are bad people out to get you. It’s that you’ve allowed your boundaries to be too loose.
If you’re highly sensitive or a people-pleaser, your default might be to water down your boundary. I want to help you make your boundaries crystal clear so people don’t miss them.
- Figure out what you want.
- Get clear on what you need.
- Set a clear boundary without asking permission, giving reasons, or offering wiggle room.
1) I want to go to bed early this evening because I’m tired.
2) I need to stop work at 5pm, eat dinner, and wind down.
Now, make your boundary clear in how you communicate.
“Hey Connie, I’ll call you tomorrow around 11am when I’m back in the office. Thanks for your patience.”
Give it a try! Boundaries are your friend.